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Thursday, 10 September 2009

Speaking for Profit

Asked this morning at a breakfast seminar* what promotional tool I found most effective, We regularly use around 30 different techniques depending on time available & mood/inspiration hits. When pressed for the most effective tool: it has to be getting out there and giving talks.

Public speaking is one of the things many people dread doing most, but almost every time I speak to a business group, we land a new client almost immediately. That's an incentive to get going, if ever there was one!

I enjoy public speaking now, but I used to dread it. I was a written words person.

Toastmasters International gave me a really effective confidence boost in public speaking with their positive feedback-based training and speaking practice. And it has to be one of the best bargains around at c£100 a year for fortnightly sessions.

The Toastmasters' training manuals are great, but it's the positive feedback that helps with the nerves. You are clapped every time you speak, and evaluated in a way that encourages you to make the most of your best traits.

Eventually you love getting an opportunity to speak because you know how to prepare and practise effectively. You have a whole box of proven techniques to engage your audience. Including impromptu speaking for those times when a speaking opportunity suddenly emerges.

There are two Toastmasters clubs in Edinburgh: http://www.capitalcommunicators.org/ and http://www.waverleycommunicators.org/

Other Scottish Toastmasters' clubs are in Glasgow, Dundee, Linlithgow, Aberdeen and Forres (nr Inverness). For these and other clubs use the meeting finder at http://www.toastmasters.org (note: all UK location results show a map centred on the UK Norfolk HQ - scroll past that to get to your results).

* Thanks to Kirsty Lloyd at OA Executive for inviting me to their breakfast briefing on staff communications in difficult times led by the very excellent team from Enhance.



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